Coronavirus info for travelling in Greece

coronavirus greece

All passengers of international flights to Greece will be obliged to fill the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) prior to their check-in, Greece’s Civil Aviation Authority said in an air safety notice  issued on Saturday, June 27, 2020.

The mandatory completion of the PLF by all passengers of international flights to Greece goes into effect as of today, June 27 and is valid until Monday, August 31, 2020.

“All travelers are required to complete their PLF at least 48 hours before their check-in and provide information about the departure airport, their address, time of stay in Greece and other details as specified with the form

Starting July 1, Greece opens 27 airports for flights from abroad: 20 major ones, including Heraklion, Chania, Corfu, Rhodes and Mykonos, as well as seven smaller ones in Ioannina, Sitia, Lemnos, Kythira, Skyros, Paros and Chios.

Also on Wednesday, July 1, the ports of Patras and Igoumenitsa will start accepting ferries from Italy, while the ports in Piraeus, Rhodes, Corfu, Volos and Katakolo will be open for cruising, even though no trips have been planned so far.

With regards to the border-crossings, Evzones will open on July 1 in addition to Promachonas. the land border. The opening of Krystallopigi, Nymfaio, Kastanies and Kipoi, that is to North Macedonia and Turkey, is currently under negotiations.

Update 2/05

Greece reopens its doors to foreign tourists without quarantine on 15 June 2020 after conornavirus cases are under control since weeks now. However, citizens of around 20 countries will initially be admitted. Restrictions for exempted countries will be lifted gradually by 15 July and based on epidemiological data. Below are the countries to which Greece will initially open its borders to accept tourists after Coronavirus.

A second group of countries will be added on July 1st and July 15th, with the exception of some countries with negative epidemiological characteristics.

Firts group of countries allowed to enter Greece for tourism after 15 June

Albania, Australia, Austria, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Finland.
*the list will be updated after 15 June
Foreign tourists will not be placed in quarantine, but there will be the right to sample tests, Minister of Tourism Haris Theoharis. Presenting the “Restart Tourism” package, Theoharis said that initially citizens of about 20 countries will be admitted depending on the epidemiological data in their countries.
“Foreign tourism will begin on June 15, where the arrival of visitors from around 20 countries will be guaranteed,” he said. He referred to “visitors with good epidemiological characteristics, while the criteria they also evaluated are: road access, average flight distance, diaspora community.

Covid test for tourists upon arrival in Greece

Greece will reportedly conduct sample tests for coronavirus on flights arriving in the country to Athens ‘Eleftherios Venizelos’ international airport from June 15 and for all airports in the country on July 1.
The flights will be divided into “red”, “orange”, “green” and “yellow”, according to the epidemiological data of each country of origin of the travelers.
For example: for a country in the “green” category, Covid sample tests will be conducted for 1-2 passengers out of a total of 150 passengers. In category “yellow” 5-10 tests, in “orange” 20-30. And in “red” all passengers on a flight.
However, underlined the deputy minister of civil protection, Nikos Hardalias, this “does not mean that we will be open to everyone from July 1st”.

Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of all of the key measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 being implemented at airports, hotels, shops, restaurants, beaches and more in Greece during the summer tourism period.

Please note that all of the measures are subject to change. We will be regularly updating this article as necessary, however measures not listed here may be implemented if this is deemed necessary.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES

Archaeological sites now operate on extended summer hours (8 a.m.-8 p.m.) to avoid large crowds from forming. In order to maintain the minimum 1.5m safety distance between people, the number of visitors allowed in at every archaeological site is limited, as is the number of visitors allowed to enter every hour.

Specific routes have been demarcated, the entrance and exit separated and plexiglass screens installed wherever needed and possible – for example, at the Propylaea on the Acropolis. The use of protective masks and alcohol-based sanitizers on site is strongly advised.

ARRIVALS  IN GREECE CORONAVIRUS MEASURES

Tourism period in Greece will officially begin on June 15, with international visitors able to arrive (without being quarantined) at Athens and Thessaloniki airports. From July 1 direct international flights will be permitted at all other remaining airports around the country, allowing tourists to fly directly to tourist destinations. Spot Covid-19 tests for visitors arriving to Greece will be conducted using swab tests and will be mandatory for those selected for tests; visitors will not, however, be quarantined on arrival, as was the case during the lockdown phase.

AΤHENS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Use of face masks is mandatory after entering the airport terminal; a mask must be kept on throughout a passenger’s stay in the airport areas, during boarding, and during the flight (domestic or international). Passengers should also be aware that they may be asked to temporarily remove their mask during security processes and identity checks. Hand sanitizer dispensers are available in over 300 spots at the airport, including the bathrooms.

Plexiglass panels have been installed for additional protection in areas where contact with employees is necessary such as ticket desks and information counters. To minimize waiting times, passengers are encouraged to select e-service options (web check-in) prior to their departure for the airport, as well as within the airport areas (self check-in, baggage-tag printing, drop-off baggage, e-parking). Seating in all waiting areas has been re-arranged to allow for safe minimum distances. The current recommendation is that every other seat be left vacant. However, families or couples traveling together do not have to keep this distance.

BEACHES – ORGANIZED WITH BEACH CLUBS

At organized beach clubs, a maximum of 40 people will be allowed per 1,000m2; an entrance/exit count will be carried out to make sure this measure is respected. A minimum distance of 4 meters must be maintained between individual umbrellas, each of which will provide shade for two sun loungers at most – this does not apply to families with children. Two sunbeds that are under different umbrellas cannot be placed closer to each other than 1.5m.

Placing a towel on top of sun loungers is mandatory and considered the responsibility of the user. The staff at organized beaches and beach clubs are required to disinfect sun loungers/chairs after every use. Additionally, they must regularly disinfect sanitary facilities and post a schedule of that cleaning for official review.

Cantinas and beach bars will operate on a take-away basis; seating will not be allowed. Customers waiting in line to be served will have to remain at least 1.5m apart. The sale of alcohol is currently forbidden on beaches, but a review of that policy is expected.

BOATS (FERRIES)

Boats (ferries) will travel at 50% capacity – or 55% for boats with cabins on board. Passengers will be required to answer a series of questions and have their temperatures taken before boarding. Passengers who present symptoms or are deemed at risk of infection (e.g. due to exposure to a Covid-19 patient in the 14 previous days) will be refused permission to board the boat.

Inside the boat, passengers will have to remain at a 1.5m distance from each other, and the number of aircraft-type seats will be reduced. One person maximum will be allowed in each cabin, except for families of up to 4 people, and people with disabilities traveling with companions.

Use of a mask on board vessels is mandatory. Crews have been trained to respond to potential coronavirus cases, and boats will be disinfected after completing each sea route. Further policy updates are expected as of June 15.

CAMPING

Maintain a distance of at least 1.5m between people who don’t belong to the same family or friend circle and do not live under the same roof applies here, too.

Tents and camper vans must be at least 5 meters apart on the entrance/exit side, and 3 meters apart on every other side. Upon arrival, customers must agree to and comply with the instructions and safety measures – establishments reserve the right to refuse entrance to anyone refusing to cooperate.

The use of masks is advised in interior covered spaces. Entrance to the site, as well as passage through it and the use of the campground facilities will be restricted to customers only. All common-use areas and facilities, as well as rental equipment, will be thoroughly disinfected on a regular basis.

CHECK-IN/CHECK-OUT AT HOTELS

Check-in and check-out times have been changed – check-out to 11 a.m. and check-in to 3 p.m.. The added time between each check-out and check-in is necessary to ensure that each room is thoroughly disinfected between stays, and that the space is adequately ventilated.

You may see a plexiglass screen at the reception desk – their presence is at the discretion of hotel management. Hand sanitizers, on the other hand, are mandatory.

Other measures the hotel must perform include disinfecting all card keys after each stay. Wherever possible, you are encouraged to check in at an outdoor reception station. The use of electronic alternatives to check-in and check-out, such as Mobile Concierge apps, is preferable, as are electronic payments upon check-out. It is likely that any accounts, invoices or receipts will be sent to you via email. Cash will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances.

DRINK & EAT

At present, all seating at restaurants and café-bars is outdoors only; indoor spaces might reopen on June 15. The minimum distance allowed between tables ranges from 70cm to 170cm, and no more than six people are allowed at one table, although these restrictions do not apply to families with children.

Information signs will remind people of individual hygiene rules and of safety measures applying to all spaces. Customers will be encouraged to make electronic transactions. Sanitizer gel will be available at cash registers; if the owner deems it necessary, a protective plexiglass screen will be installed, as well as markings on the floor to delimit safe distances for queuing.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS

The European Emergency Number is 112. For any Covid-19-related inquiries, dial 1135.

FINES

The fine for not using a mask where required is €150.

FLIGHTS

All of the country’s airports are expected to open for international flights on July 1. Until then, all international flights to and from Greece will fly in and out of Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport or Thessaloniki Airport (the latter from June 15).

GARDENS/ PARKS

The 1.5m safety distance applies for parks and public gardens, too; the use of masks is advised.

HAIRDRESSERS/BEAUTY SALONS

Hair and beauty salons operate by appointment only, with a minimum 2m distance between stations/chairs. The use of masks is mandatory for everyone, and employees a must wear disposable gloves as well. Working hours have been extended from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays.

HOUSEKEEPING AT HOTELS

Housekeeping will be less frequent during stays, and turndown services have been abolished. Towels and sheets will be changed upon customer request only. As you enter your room for the first time, look for the sign that will tell you when and how your room was last cleaned.

Hotel owners have the choice between two cleaning options: they can either clean it in the usual way after a customer leaves and keep it closed for 24 hours until the next one comes, or perform a thorough cleansing and disinfection using a steam cleaner, UV rays or other such equipment on all room and bathroom surfaces.

Hotels have been advised to get rid of decorative objects such as throw pillows. Getting rid of reusable items likely to be shared, such as menus and magazines, is recommended as well. Disposable covers will be placed on TV and air conditioner remote controls. Upholstery fabric must be cleaned with a vapor steam cleaner – at temperatures exceeding 70°C.

ΙNFORMATION (HEALTH-RELATED) @ HOTELS

Upon arrival, you’re advised to ask about the establishment’s policy in case of health incidents and about the medical facilities in the general area, including the public and private hospitals, Covid-19 referral hospitals, and the pharmacies. Hotels are advised to provide printed brochures with basic health instructions translated into English, French and German, as no such electronic app currently exists.

LIVE PERFORMANCES

Live performances will begin after July 15 and will take place exclusively at outdoor venues. Artists and crew must wear face masks on stage and maintain a distance of at least 1.5 meters between each other. Venues will operate at 40% capacity to allow distances to be kept. The stage will be set at least 3 meters away from the first row of seats; for concerts where the audience is standing, a distance of 1.5 meters must be maintained between members of the audience.

MASKS

Use of disposable or reusable fabric masks is mandatory on the Metro (subway) and all other forms of public transportation, including taxis, shuttle buses, and other tourist vehicles. Face masks must also be worn in shops.

MUSEUMS

Museums are expected to open on June 15. More information will follow on their mode of operation – naturally, visitors will have to keep a distance of 2 meters between each other. Museums can only use air conditioning where these are open-circuit (i.e. allow fresh air to enter the building). A limited number of people will be allowed entry every hour.

ΟPEN-AIR CINEMAS

This summer delight comes back to us on June 1, but will operate with new safety rules – the most important one being the reduction of the number of seats to 40% of the theater’s capacity. It is likely that ticket offices will open two hours prior to movies’ start times, and stop ticket sales 15 minutes before so that people have time to properly take their seats while maintaining social distancing. Here too, the use of masks and alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be recommended on entry.

PRIVATE BEACHES @ HOTELS & RESORTS

Seats of any kind must be placed in such a way that the distance between two people sitting under two different umbrellas is no less than 3 meters in any direction. People will be discouraged from placing their towels or beach mats within the “safe distance areas”. Towels large enough to cover all of a seat’s surfaces will be provided and disinfected after every use.

QUEUES

Greeks have recently shown remarkable discipline in complying with the “queuing regulations” now in place (okay, with a few exceptions). The main rule to observe is to remain at least 1.5 – 2 meters from others in the queue. In many shops and other areas floor markings have been placed to aid with physical distancing.

RENT A CAR

Rental cars will be disinfected between uses by different clients. Additionally, the number of passengers allowed will be restricted: For cars with up to five seats, only the driver plus one passenger will be allowed in the vehicle. For those with 6-7 seats, the driver plus two passengers. For eight or nine-seat vehicles, the driver will be allowed to carry up to 3 passengers. These restrictions do not apply for families with children.

SHOPPING

You may need to wait for a few minutes before entering many shops. Smaller ones up to 20 m2 will be able to host a maximum of 4 people at the same time (including employees). Stores from 20 to 100 m2 can have a maximum of 4 people inside plus one person for every additional 10 m2. Stores 100 m2 and above will be able to welcome a maximum of 12 people, plus one more person for every additional 15 m2. Distances of at least 1.5 meters must be maintained by customers and employees and the use of masks is mandatory.

SWIMMING POOLS

Sunbeds must be placed so that two people sitting under two different umbrellas, or two people staying in two different rooms maintain a distance of at least 2 meters in every direction. Every time a customer leaves, seats, tables, security boxes, menus and any other item the next customer may use must be disinfected. Pools are advised to provide towels covering beds’ surfaces as well as to clean every sunbed / chair between uses. It is recommended that cushions and fabric coverings be removed from sunbeds.

TOUR BUSES

All tourist buses are allowed to operate at up to 50% capacity. All passengers must wear protective masks on board. All tour buses must provide hand sanitizer by the entrance. Companies are advised to install transparent protective dividers in buses between the driver and the passengers. On special open-air tourist buses, at stops passengers will only be allowed to embark after all those getting off have done so. After each route, the cleaning of surfaces and high contact spots (e.g. handles) is advised.

TRANSFER CARS

Customer transport will be allowed via private transfers only. Vehicles with up to 5 seats can carry no more than one passenger plus the driver. Companions of people with disabilities are exempt from this rule. 6-7 seat cars can carry the driver plus two passengers, while 8-9 seat cars can carry up to 3 passengers. The passenger limit will not apply if the passengers are parents with their children. The driver and passengers must all wear masks.

VISITORS @ HOTEL ROOMS

Rooms in hotels and resorts, as well as tents and campers at campsites, are for customer-use only. No visitors will be permitted.

WATERSPORTS

Anything that comes in contact with customers – every surface, life jacket, wetsuit etc – must be cleaned and disinfected between each use. Only members of the same family, or individuals able to maintain a 2m distance between them, will be allowed on any single piece of equipment (such as a canoe or inflatable ride).

YACHTS

Faraway destinations where medical help is scant are to be avoided. The maximum number of passengers allowed on board will depend on a boat’s size and the number of passengers allowed by its license. On every boat there will be a book with all passenger details and their hours of embarking and disembarking, which must be available in written or electronic form for inspection by port and health authorities. The only people allowed on board will be the people who have boarded from the start of the journey. No other passengers or visitors will be allowed on board at intermediate stops.

Additionally, a log must be kept to monitor everyone’s health on board: all crew and passengers will have their temperatures taken once daily and logged. If somebody starts developing Covid-19 symptoms on board – a cough, fever, shortness of breath – this must be logged in the book and a prearranged plan for dealing with a suspected coronavirus case must be activated. There must be sufficient quantities of antiseptic, disinfectant, cleaning supplies and personal protection equipment for all on board.

Plan for lifting restrictions for travelling on Greek islands  COVID 19

Beginning of June

Restoration of the domestic flights ( via Athens and Tesaloniki). Most probably if the flights will be confirmed, will not be open for tourist.

mid- June June 15

Hotels that are usually open all year and seasonal tourist accommodation.

Opening of organized beaches

Restoration of sea traffic to the islands and marinas

Hotel units on islands and areas where there is insufficient health infrastructure, are expected to open in late June and early July and once the issue of air transport has been resolved.

End June

Restoration of international flights

Restart of Super League

Beginning of July

Opening of seasonal tourist accommodation facilities

UPDATE CORONAVIRUS GREECE  01/05/2020

According to official data 10 new confirmed cases were recorded in the country the the past 24 hours.

41 patients are intubated in hospital ICUs. Their average age is 67.

A total of 72,130 tests have been conducted since the outbreak late February.

Greece is at the lower bottom of european countries that conducted COVID-19 tests in relation to 1 million inhabitants.

UPDATE 14.04.2020

Government spokesman Stelios Petsas announced that the gradually lifting of lockdown restrictions after coronavirus emmergency in Greece may start in the first days of May and may be completed by mid-June, if the course of the coronavirus pandemic continues in the same modus, the virus curve flattens and there is no resurgence of the pandemic in the country.

HOTEL IN GREECE DURING CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY

Greek Tourism Ministry announced the closure of hotels operating all around the year. The measure aims to protect the staff from the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry said in a statement.

This decision is effective as of midnight March 22 to March 23 and until the end of April 2020.

Only exceptions are:

one hotel per capital in each Regional Unit
three hotels in Athens
three in Thessaloniki

Hardly any tourist was seen around in Athens on Thursday. With cafes, bars and restaurants closed, archaeological sites and museums shut down and the fear of the pandemic may have drove visitors away.

On March 15, Greece suspended the operation of main and non-main seasonal touristic accommodation facilities from 15. March 2020 until 30. April 2020 as preventive measure for reasons of public health. The decision affected resort hotels.

GREECE LOCKDOWM MOVEMENT PERMISSION

Greece’s Civil Protection uploaded the Movement Permits during the total lockdown also in English late on Monday evening. The Permits are for Work or Extraordinary Activities like purchases, doctors etc. The Permits for work must be printed, for the other activities can be printed, handwritten or per sms.

Movement and transportation of individuals in order to meet their needs that cannot be otherwise met are permitted only for the following reasons:

Travel to and from work during working hours.
Going to the pharmacy or to the doctor provided this is necessary, further to telephone consultation.
Shoppingto the super market, mini market for basic necessities, if delivery is not possible.
Going to the bank if the necessary transaction is not possible online.
Assist someone in need.
Attending a ceremony (e.g. funeral, wedding, christening) as per the relevant legislation; maintaining parent-child contact in case of divorced or separated parents as per relevant legislation.
Exercising outdoors or walking a pet. If accompanied by another individual, then there should be a 1.5 metres distance between the two.

TRAVELLING WITH FERRIES

Greek government decided to ban the move of mainland Greeks to the islands as they thought they will have protection from conoravirus there. However, authorities think otherwise and therefore, only permanent residents will be allowed to travel to the islands. The measure to contain the spread of the pandemic goes into effect at 6:00 o’ clock Saturday morning, March 21, 2020.

FLIGHTS

Aegean Airlines announced on Monday that it suspends international flights as of March 26, 2020, due to the spread of coronavirus, travel restrictions from Greece, the European Union and third countries as well as the activation of the emergency measures by the Greek state. The airliner continues domestic flights at a low frequency.

Suspension begins on Thursday, March 26, and is valid until April 30, 2020.

Only a small number of weekly flights from Athens to Brussels will be operated, in order to maintain the country’s connectivity with the EU administrative center, Aegean Airlines reportedly said in a statement.

CRUISES IN GREECE

At the present government also decided to implement a ban on all cruise ships and sailboats docking at its ports.This measure wis valid until 19 April, but most probably will be applied till 30 April. Our company is monitoring the situation and understands the uncertainty caused to our customers and their reluctance to book their gulet holidays for the season, so we have applied measures and policy updates.

We really hope that these measures and policies will help partners and clients feel more confident. Gulet cruises confirmed for April and May 2020 are cancelled. Our clients can choose to rebook another date or get a cruise voucher that can be used for holidays in 2021 or even 2022. All cruises from June on are at the moment confirmed, but it is possible to change dates of travel for all departures.

For lates updates pls visit Keep talking Greece on line news.